June 6 exhibits in Branson and Jefferson City to honor secret WWII units
Last year, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed into law legislation proposed by Rep. Dean Dohrman designating June 6 as “Ghost Army Recognition Day” to honor the units, which included 20 soldiers from Missouri. The Ghost Army used inflatable tanks, sound effects, radio trickery and impersonation to fool and divert the enemy away from advancing troops. Although they have been credited with saving an estimated 30,000 lives, the work of the Ghost Army was classified as top secret until 1996.
Now, the Ghost Army will be honored with a special screening of a documentary about their secret wartime mission at the Branson IMAX Entertainment Complex at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, June 6. There will be a short program with several guest speakers in advance of the screening, followed by a reception. The Ghost Army exhibit, which will be on display through June 6, features a replica of one of the inflatable tanks used on the battlefield. The IMAX Entertainment Complex is a partner with the Ghost Army Legacy Project for the event, and the exhibit and screening are free and open to the public. Registration is required for the screening.
At the same time, the Missouri State Museum in Jefferson City will exhibit an interpretive display of The Ghost Army in the museum’s Veterans Gallery. It will include an honor roll spotlighting Missourians who served with the unit. The museum also plans social media posts leading up to the remembrance day in June highlighting the unit's history and connections with Missouri. The museum’s exhibit will run until the end of June.
“It’s time we honored these brave, unsung heroes of World War Two,” said Ghost Army Legacy Project board member Carolyn Spence Cagle of Lampe, MO, whose father served in the unit. “The Ghost Army Recognition Day will give everyone a chance to see the important contribution these soldiers made to liberating Europe and securing our freedoms. And they will learn how many members of the Ghost Army went on to further creative endeavors in the arts and entertainment fields after serving their country.”
The Ghost Army Recognition Day events coincide with a big push to pass legislation in Congress to award the Congressional Gold Medal to The Ghost Army. “There are only 11 surviving veterans, and we want to get this done while they are still with us,” said Rick Beyer, president of the Ghost Army Legacy Project. The legislation recently achieved 290 co-sponsors in the House, including six of Missouri’s eight-member Congressional delegation, putting it on the path to a floor vote. A companion Senate bill, S 1404, has just been introduced.
To register for the screening in Branson, go to https://ghostarmybranson.eventbrite.com.
Contact: Carolyn Spence Cagle, Lampe MO, Ghost Army Legacy Project
Phone: 682-552-2130 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Forster, Branson IMAX Entertainment Complex, email@example.com
Phone: 417-335-3533 x135